Seinen anime contain a lot of romantic pairings that are engaging, challenging, and aspiring. The pair play off each other in interesting ways that complicate or endear their dynamic. These couples become the darlings of the demographic. Most recently, Kaguya-sama: Love is War torched the anime community with its electric third season, fronted with the power of its primary couple.
While the demographic has many positive examples of romantic couples, it also has its fair share of bad pairs. These couples are terrible for each other, dull to watch, lack chemistry, and are ethically warped. They either contribute nothing of value or worsen the show with their presence. While not unique to the seinen demographic, these couples still sour many works.
10/10 Negishi & Yuri Are Hilarious But Not Good For Each Other
Detroit Metal City
The relationship between Negishi and Yuri fuels part of Detroit Metal City‘s humor, even if it is unstable. Yuri gets along with Negishi due to his mild-mannered personality. However, his Krauser persona occasionally takes over, and it leads to moments of dissonance between them.
Negishi starts screaming disrespectful metal lyrics which offend Yuri. At times, he really cannot help it; the persona has a mind of its own. While it leads to moments of absurd humor, it cannot be denied that their relationship is unhealthy. Negishi should stick to his metal music scene since there is no way for him to escape it. Involving Yuri just torments them both.
9/10 Meroune & Kimihito Provide A One-Note Gag
Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls
Meroune has this obsession with tragic love. Throughout Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls, she tries to orchastrate scenarios where Kimihito can see her as an illicit lover, whose passion cannot be fully fulfilled. No one takes her delusions seriously and the jokes never evolve. Her involvement in the harem is pretty dry. There isn’t a lot to her dynamic with Kimihito.
The biggest offense with Meroune and Kimihito’s relationship is how boring it is compared to all the other monster girls. There are fun gimmicks all-around, but hers is the least fleshed out. Perhaps another season can improve the pair, but it’s one of the dullest things in the show.
8/10 Kiyoshi & Chiyo’s Bond Lacks Anything Special In It
Romance is hardly one of Prison School‘s strengths. The show is much better when it comes to suspense and comedy. However, the relationship between Chiyo and Kiyoshi is a motivator for the plot. Kiyoshi’s character is driven by a need to be free and ask Chiyo out. However, their relationship is as bland as it gets. They have one quaint moment together, and that’s it.
In comparison, Kiyoshi’s relationship with Hana is far more interesting. Undoubtedly, it’s more messed up, but it also has more personality. There is something tangible to hold onto with Kiyoshi and Hana, regardless of how uncomfortable it is.
7/10 Chii & Hideki Look Worse In Retrospect
The biggest issue with the main couple from Chobits lies in Chii’s writing. To her credit, the self-determining aspect to her character keeps the show from being unacceptable, but she acts like a child in the most unflattering ways. She can only say one word and is almost entirely dependent on Hideki. The relationship can be seen as creepy.
Chii and Hideki’s relationship is especially weird when considering this as a CLAMP work. It completely clashes with how they write women in their shojo works like Card Captor Sakura and Magic Earth Rayearth. Chii’s characterization single-handedly drags down the show.
6/10 Hanabi & Mugi Harm Each Other With Their Arrangement
Fictional stories have the potential to tell engaging and challenging narratives while using toxic relationships as the catalysts. Scum’s Wish aims for that but misses the mark. Establishing a physical relationship to make up for the unfulfilled romances in their lives, Mugi and Hanabi complicate their high school lives in the process.
It’s clear that neither Mugi nor Hanabi are mature enough to handle the set-up, and the reasoning behind it just muddies everything. The worst part is that the relationship doesn’t really reveal or say anything. It is a presentation of teen drama that goes nowhere. While that might be true to life, it doesn’t make for compelling fiction. The relationship is internally torturous for no reason.
5/10 Shinako & Rikuo Can Make The Viewers Fall Asleep
Sing “Yesterday” For Me
Sing “Yesterday” for Me is one of the most disappointing shows of recent memory. It gives credence to those who believe methodical pacing is just a euphemism for slow and boring. The romantic drama, especially regarding Rikuo and Shinako, took way too long to develop. Even then, it wasn’t anything special.
Everything about the anime fizzles out. It lures viewers in with a seemingly mature approach to pacing, storytelling, and characterization, but does very little with its runtime. The dynamic between the two would need to be altered and made more urgent for it to hold water.
4/10 Kazumi & Itsuki Have A Completely Unnecessary Romantic Arc
Viewers watch Initial D for the racing, the music, and the competition. Its romances are weak, but the worst offender is Itsuki’s time with Kazumi. It’s one thing for the anime to waste time showing Takumi’s romantic endeavors, but Itsuki is just a side character. He is a good friend of Takumi’s, but he mostly just waits by the side. The anime would lose nothing by completely removing him.
Instead of going that route, the anime gives Itsuki a whole arc full of romantic failures. It’s a waste of time since it’s removed from anything likable about the show. Itsuki is not even an impressive driver, so the appeal is completely lost on the viewers.
3/10 Ryouta & Neko Are A Senseless Duo
Brynhildr In The Darkness)
The writing for Brynhildr in the Darkness is a complete mess, so it’s not surprising that its central romantic duo is equally confounding. The fact that Neko is Ryouta’s childhood friend is clear from the start, so it’s confusing as why the show drags it out for most of its runtime. The two are bounced around the nonsense of the show, which makes developing a worthwhile bond impossible.
Neko is as vacuous as characters come, which is terrible since Ryouta is the archetypical high school protagonist. He has no personality outside of stargazing and losing his best friend as a kid. There is nothing for viewers to latch onto.
2/10 Emu & Yo Are Some Of The Goofiest Characters In Seinen Anime
Crying Freeman is the culmination of all the hypermasculine shows during the 1980s, except in the worst way possible. Everything about it is ridiculous, from Yo Hinamura’s tear-inducing proficiency as a killer, to Emu Hino falling in love with him after witnessing him murder a man. It highlights every negative aspect about the hypermasculine way many shows were written in.
The strangest thing about it is that it was created by one of the greatest manga writers of all time, Kazuo Koike. To the show’s credit, it’s hilarious. The show is funny from top to bottom, despite how seriously it takes itself.
1/10 Koushirou & Nanoka Are A Revolting Couple
The critical acclaim for Koi Kaze ages worse and worse with each day that passes. Everything about its premise is fundamentally wrong. It’s reprehensible without any hint of self-awareness nor introspection. It makes anime like Domestic Girlfriend look mild in comparison. The couple at the core of the show is the source for all the nasty things about it.
The show takes the defensive stance, rejecting all opposition within the show. The two taboos it crosses are far too severe to downplay the actions the show takes. Certain scenes will definitely upset unsuspecting viewers who are not prepared for the content.
NEXT: The 10 Worst Anime Couples Of All Time, Ranked